The Wednesday through Friday back at school were interesting. Trying to get up to speed on what the students did while I was gone and trying to keep pace with the other teachers who teach those courses was interesting. Waking up wasn't too bad (I thought it would be rough to wake up at "11pm" Hawaiian), however I hit the wall each of those days on my drive home from work. I was struggling to keep the eyes open and tried everything from blasting music, singing at the top of my lungs, listening to political debates, having debates with myself, and calling Beth. Ultimately, I made it home each day in one piece, and (after getting 10+ hours of sleep each day of the weekend), I felt back on track last week and this week.
THE XC SEASON
On the cross country front, our district meet (precursor to the state meet) is this Thursday. Where did the season go? Next Saturday's the state meet already!! I am ready as I've got my XC Playoff beard in tip-top shape.
They're calling for sun, wind, and highs in the upper 50's. Just about perfect! The top 4 teams qualify and I think both our boys and girls have decent shots of making it. That would be fun to have both teams make it, but we shall see. That's why the run the race! The district JV race was Monday in the POURING rain. Ugh! It's fun watching the younger kids go out and compete and have the day be about them. Those are the future stars. Just for the record, North Allegheny is loaded on JV and could probably field about three teams at WPIAL's and qualify them all for the state meet.
In other news, I'm signed up for a 10-miler this weekend. The race website describes the course as "Some challenging hills mixed with mildly rolling paved roads around the Cherrington Office complex and the roads around Moon Township." This is making me worry that it's going to be some crazy course (like the end of the Frigid 5). Then, to compound things, I've been going into the race thinking that I'd like to shoot for 6-minute pace when I see the winner the past two years (my archnemisis Racer X) has won the race in 1:03. Hmmmm.
So, I did a little research to see how bad the hills really were using Mapmyrun.com. I compared the following course's elevations:
1) Martha's Run 10k
2) A loop near our house that starts up in "The Heights" and goes down to the river and back
3) The Frigid 5-miler (with the crazy hill at the end)
4) The Harvest Moon Run 10-miler
So, this eased my concerns about the hilliness of the course, but I still wonder why the times aren't all that fast. Regardless, I guess I'll just get out there and compete and let the time take care of itself.
After this, I may do a Thanksgiving day race and/or a race the 1st weekend of December. Then, a little time off for cross-training before ramping up the training for the Pittsburgh Marathon in January.
A fellow teacher (and fellow strong Pirates supporter) forwarded me this link about a Pirate fan who placed a $20 bet against the Pirates every game this past year and ended up making a 9.8% return on investment. I put on FB that I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or try the investment strategy next April. That's an ROI that would even impress Marty the investor! If you look at the excel sheet linked in the article, you can be really entertained. Okay, if you like math, money, and followed the Pirates all year you would like it. Had the Pirates not put on a mini-surge in September, he would have even made more. Alas, one of these years they'll be relevant...
Looking forward to the World Series starting Wednesday and I'll break out my baseball tie my sister-in-law got me a few years back.
I'm excited to see Cliff Lee throw a few more times. I heard this stat on the radio that Cliff Lee has 4 postseason games where he's struck out double digits and walked NONE. In postseason HISTORY (since 1903), only two other pitchers have done it ONCE!! And to think the Indians offered him as part of a package deal for Jason Bay. Sigh. Josh Hamilton is a great story, too, if you haven't heard it before.
I guess I was pulling for a Tampa Bay-Philadelphia final, but this should be fun, too. All the pitching that San Francisco has should match up well against Texas. And, how about mediocre and expendable Pirates reliever Javier Lopez becoming the dominant left-on-left reliever against the Phillies? Who knew?
Off to catch up on a few more things I haven't gotten around to in the last few weeks....